IEA Releases Report on Potential for Second-Generation Biofuels in Developing Countries

9 February 2010: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published an information paper titled “Sustainable Production of Second-Generation Biofuels: Potential and Perspectives in Major Economies and Developing Countries.” The paper focuses on opportunities and risks presented by second-generation biofuels technologies in eight case study countries: Brazil, Cameroon, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand.

The report begins by exploring the state of the art of second-generation technologies and their production, followed by projections of future demand and a discussion of drivers of that demand. The report then delves into various feedstock options and the global potential for bioenergy production. The final chapter offers a look at the potential for sustainable second-generation biofuel production in developing countries including considerations of economic, social and environmental impacts.

Key findings of the report include that: second-generation biofuels produced from agricultural and forestry residues can play a crucial role in the transport sector without competing with food production; the potential for second-generation biofuels should be mobilized in emerging and developing countries where a large share of global residues is produced; less-developed countries will first need to invest in agricultural production and infrastructure in order to improve the framework conditions for the production of second-generation biofuels; financial barriers to production exist in many developing countries; and the suitability of second-generation biofuels against individual developing countries' needs should be evaluated. [Publication Announcement]  [The Information Paper]